Century 21 workers who reopened after 9/11 are now sick of Ground Zero

Century 21 workers who fought to reopen their downtown Manhattan store after 9/11 are now suffering from Ground Zero-related illnesses.

More than two decades later, former Century 21 employees at the now closed store are among those sick and dying after breathing in the toxic air that hung over Ground Zero for months after 9/11.

At least 15 of the 600 employees who worked downtown signed up for the World Trade Center health program or the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund with 9/11 illness or cancer, attorney Michael said. Barasch at the New York Daily News.

And two have already died of 9/11-related cancers, Barasch added.

Meanwhile, 12 other Century 21 shoppers as well as 19 first responders who performed recovery operations inside the store have also requested compensation.

Cranes work on the rising foundation of 3 World Trade Center, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011, in New York with the Century 21 department store behind.

Construction continues at the World Trade Center site on Friday, December 5, 2008 in New York.  The Century 21 department store, right, is covered in red light for the holiday season

Construction continues at the World Trade Center site on Friday, December 5, 2008 in New York. The Century 21 department store, right, is covered in red light for the holiday season

A new book has detailed the struggle for health care for students poisoned by toxic air following the attack on the World Trade Center.  Pictured are the twin towers as seen from the Stuyvesant Bridge on 9/11 just before Stuyvesant High School was evacuated

A new book has detailed the struggle for health care for students poisoned by toxic air following the attack on the World Trade Center. Pictured are the twin towers as seen from the Stuyvesant Bridge on 9/11 just before Stuyvesant High School was evacuated

Lori Ellis, 54, who was senior director of operations and merchandising at the Cortlandt Street location, recalls how she and her colleagues successfully reopened the department store five months later, becoming the first major retailer near Ground Zero to do it in the deal.

“It smelled like burnt plastic all the time,” she said of Lower Manhattan after the store reopened.

“But when you’re there, you get used to it. It’s like working in a fish market and getting used to the smell of fish.

Ellis, who developed a rare form of skin cancer while working near Ground Zero, is one of several other employees currently going through the enrollment process.

The exact number of former Century 21 workers who fell ill or died from 9/11-related illness remains unclear.

Meanwhile, Ellis and other employees have been connecting with their former colleagues on social media and encouraging them to get tested for 9/11 illnesses.

“People have died, but we don’t know if they died of 9/11 illness or not,” Ellis said.

Pictured: Lori Ellis, 54, senior director of operations and merchandising at the Cortlandt Street location at the time of 9/11, has since developed rare skin cancer from Ground Zero

Pictured: Lori Ellis, 54, senior director of operations and merchandising at the Cortlandt Street location at the time of 9/11, has since developed rare skin cancer from Ground Zero

Rescue workers at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 after the <a class=terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York” class=”blkBorder img-share” style=”max-width:100%” />

Rescue workers at Ground Zero on September 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York

Century 21 co-owner Sonny Gindi, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Century 21 CEO Al Gindi cut the ribbon that officially reopened the Century 21 store, February 28, 2002

Century 21 co-owner Sonny Gindi, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Century 21 CEO Al Gindi cut the ribbon that officially reopened the Century 21 store, February 28, 2002

Barasch added that there needs to be a way to find out who worked there in order to get more concrete numbers.

“There are payroll records somewhere,” Barasch explained.

“The store is not responsible for what happened, the Federal EPA told them it was safe to air, but why aren’t these big companies contacting their ex-employees to encourage them to sign up ?”

As many as 9,795 people have been diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer, the World Trade Center’s federal health program confirmed in 2018.

In the years that followed, the chain of stores declared bankruptcy amid the COVID-19 pandemic, closing its last 13 department stores.

However, it recently announced that it will be opening several physical stores in the coming months.

REVEALED: Nearly 10,000 people suffered cancers linked to toxic dust from asbestos, jet fuel, cement and shards of glass caused by 9/11

As many as 9,795 people have been diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer, the World Trade Center’s federal health program confirmed in 2018.

The New York Post originally reported the numbers – and spoke to health officials, rescue workers and survivors who were at the scene of the dangerous toxic dust caused by jet fuel, asbestos, cement and shards of glass.

Medical director of the World Trade Center health program at Mount Sinai, Dr. Michael Crane, told the Post that there has been a significant increase in the number of cancer patients since the program began – which tracks diseases related to September 11 – in 2013.

The program “provides medical follow-up and treatment to responders at the WTC and related sites in New York, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and to survivors who were in the New York disaster area,” according to its website. .

Crane told the Post, “We get these referrals 15-20 times a week.”

The health program reported 3,204 9/11-related cancers in 2015. By the end of the following year, that figure rose to 8,188. In 2018, the number of incidents is approaching 10,000 with a figure of 9 795.

More than 1,700 responders and others have died as a result, including 420 specifically from cancer, according to the Post.

Epidemiological studies have found that rescue and recovery workers have a “significantly higher” risk of thyroid or bladder cancer and skin melanoma.

Leukemia and other blood cell disorders are also a major concern, according to the report.

Non-rescue workers reportedly had “significantly higher rates of breast cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”

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